AIA|LA Design Awards Tour Series: Pico Place
When
Where
Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Santa Monica, CA
aia
AIA|LA Design Awards Tour Series: Pico Place

When: Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM 
Where: Pico Place, Santa Monica
Who: Brooks + Scarpa
Tour led by firm.

Pico Place is a 32-unit LEED Platinum affordable apartment building consisting of 2 and 3-bedroom family units with a common laundry room, community room and subterranean parking. 

The project provides a connection between the tall Sheraton hotel to the east and the beach to the west by placing the volumes of the building on either side of the property and opening up the project's center to create an enclosed, residential interior courtyard.  

Strips of fabric floating above the courtyard offer a variation in material and a sense of place while shading the courtyard and providing privacy from the hotel overlooking the building.  By placing a one-story community room along Pico Blvd., and creating a 'frame' that unifies the project, the interior courtyard can be seen from the street, while also remaining semi-private.  This allows courtyard activity to spill out to the street, and provides a pedestrian connection with Pico Blvd.; protecting the residential properties across the rear alley from the courtyard noise and activity.  

Sustainability is an important component of the design; shading, natural light and ventilation, along with proper building orientation to induce buoyancy and natural breezes.  A small green roof is positioned to take advantage of, and contribute to the pedestrian nature of the street.  The building exceeds California Title 24 requirements by more than 25%.

The major exterior material consists of recycled cement board siding in different colors, textures and patterns, creating an elegant façade that is contextual and varied, and complements the surrounding buildings.  The subterranean parking is accessed from the rear alley with drought tolerant/native landscaping above.  The planting provides a rich living environment for the people living there and a transition from the busy commercial area immediately to the west, to the residential district to the south and east.

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